PUBS and venues on the Isle of Wight might be closed, but this isn’t stopping local folk singers John Hacker and John Bentley.

Since lockdown began, a weekly folk club has been running on Zoom, now the organisers are planning a two-day folk festival during the final weekend of May.

All performances will be shared online, with six hours of music broadcast over the course of the two days.

John Hacker said: “I’ve been on a steep learning curve to get to grips with the technology, but it’s all coming together. We will be streaming the event through Facebook and Youtube.”

The Isolation Row Folk Festival will feature a variety of local performers, alongside a few mainland guests. It will run from 2pm to 5pm on both days.

The event is being held as a fundraiser for the Quay Arts, which has been negatively impacted since closure. The venue is a not-for-profit charity and receives no funding from either the Arts Council or local authority.

John Bentley said: ”I run a monthly folk club at the Quay and it’s a great venue. During the Isolation Row Folk Festival we will be encouraging listeners to make a donation.”

Among those lined up to play are Island based JC and Kath Grimshaw, Second Time Around and Cajundaze. Mainland guests include Abacus, The Silver Darlings women’s shanty group and Gemma Kwahaja.

Del Seymour, manager of Quay Arts, said: “We really appreciate the support of the Island folk music community. We hope to open again before too long — in the meantime the music goes on.

"Please listen to the festival and make a donation to the Quay.”

For further details about the event, which takes place on May 30 and 31, visit the Isolation Row Virtual Folk Festival Facebook page.